Rest Day. Really?

You’ve seen them (or are one??).  To the gym or to the road every single day.  Never mind any assessment of what they are actually doing, there are two things that are pretty certain.  First, you gotta admire the commitment.  No, really.  Discipline, particularly self disciple is,  this day in age almost frightening in its scarcity.  Second,  it is quite likely the one of two things with result from all that commitment. One, you’ll break down and either suffer and injury or illness. Or two, after a period of time, you’ll wonder why nothing is changing.

Whether you are trying to lose weight, change your shape (which may or may not have any effect on your weight), get stronger, gain endurance or a myriad of other goals, the fundamentals haven’t really changed much in the last couple thousand years tor so.

First, you have be stressing the body beyond its comfort zone.  (faster, more reps, more sets, heavier weight, unbalanced loads, etc…)

Next, you need to refuel the body with stuff it needs to repair the “damage” done by the above.

Third, you need to allow the body to go through its repair cycle — you must recover.

The first two get plenty of coverage but the third is often ignored or at least misunderstood (and then ignore…)  Understandably given the pace of life most of us live, this third one is challenging to manage.  We know that 8-9 hours of sleep would be heavenly, but who has the time?  Yoga? Meditation?  Great stuff, but when?  Let me offer a different way to think about it.

Instead of stressing over the things you have a problem controlling (which in turn tends to magnify them…), focus on the things you can. Here’s a easy formula that will work for most people who are just trying to attain and then maintain and sustainable and healthy lifestyle.  We’ve talked before a bit about what and how to eat and will circle back to that another day, but in terms of the exercise, shoot to train every other day but realize that sometimes either your schedule or the last workout will cause you to take a second rest day.  BUT NEVER TAKE THE THIRD DAY IN A ROW OFF.

Too simple?  Harder than you think.  And more effective too…..  

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Categories: General, Motivation, Tips

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